In recent years, nationalism has reasserted itself globally as a
potent, mobilizing political force. In Turkey, the perilous state
of politics--indeed the crisis of identity in the state itself--is
a symptom of the rift between the secular and Islamic nationalists,
today the focus of intense and acrimonious debate.
In The Top Hat, the Grey Wolf, and the Crescent, Hugh Poulton
traces the evolution of nationalism in Turkey since the days of the
Ottoman empire, through the rule of Attatrk when secularism became
the binding force of a new national identity, to the present when a
Western liberal middle class battles an increasingly powerful
Islamic movement. Starting with an examination of nationalism as a
political ideology, Poulton profiles in detail the main contenders
in the battle for Turkey's identity: the Top Hat (secular
nationalism), the Grey Wolf (the pan-Turkist fringe), and the
Crescent (pro- Islamic forces). Poulton also considers the effects
of Turkish nationalism on various minority groups, including the
Kurds and the Alevis, and sheds lights on the nationalist
sentiments of Turks outside Turkey.
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